Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange seeks stay of proceedings in Halifax court

Jeannie Matthews
February 6, 2019

Gerald Cotton - boss at QuadrigaCX - was the only member of the company who had the password but died last December.

The CBC broke the story, after Gerald Cotten, CEO of crypto exchange QuadrigaCX, died (as his company put it): "due to complications with Crohn's disease" while on a trip to India in December. Inflammation caused by Crohn's disease can involve different areas of the digestive tract in different people, doctors say.

Cotten held "sole responsibility for handling the funds and coins", and no other members of the QuadrigaCX team could access the money, she said in an affidavit on January 31.

Cotten's widow, Jennifer Robertson, has filed for creditor protection, saying that the firm can not access coins in "cold storage", Coindesk reports.

Robertson has access to Cotten's laptop but writes that she is unable to open it.

Cotten's widow Jennifer Robertson said she was not involved in the business while he was alive and the laptop which he used is encrypted.

Some $137m in netizens' crypto-coins are held in a so-called cold storage offline wallet, the password for which only Cotten knew, it is claimed. "Despite repeated and diligent searches, I have not been able to find them written down anywhere".

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The company could have access to about $30 million in bank drafts, but regular financial institutions have made it clear they are nervous about handling those funds, Chiasson told the court.

Lawyers for Quadriga said in court on Tuesday are considering a possible sale of the company to satisfy debts.

Back to the present day, and Cotten's widow has been having to fend off questions of legitimacy surrounding the death all the while trying to follow up with security experts on how to gain access to the large sum of crypto - now behind nearly entirely insurmountable encryption.

The company's board is, however, expected to appoint Ernst & Young to oversee the proceedings. Yet the Rajasthan document is the strongest evidence yet for QuadrigaCX's story, having been obtained from the government office responsible for tracking such information.

According to CoinDesk, the company is considering selling off its operating platform. She said she had also received threats and slanderous comments.

"Ideally, the cold storage wallet would be a multi-signature wallet where the keys that control the individual accounts are kept very, very, secure and in multiple physically separate locations", she explained, in a statement emailed to Fox News.

They say about 115,000 Quadriga users hold balances in their personal accounts in the form of cash obligations and cryptocurrency.

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